David Holmes is the regional managing partner of Wilson Elser’s Chicago office. He has a diverse civil litigation practice that encompasses the defense of employment law, product liability and toxic tort, commercial litigation, professional liability and insurance coverage claims.
David has tried cases in the federal and state courts and has argued appeals before the Illinois Appellate Court, Illinois Supreme Court and Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He has won summary judgment or dismissal in numerous cases filed in state and federal court and has led summary judgment victories affirmed by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
Areas of Focus
David has defended large insurance companies, insurance brokers, government entities, and numerous small-to medium-sized businesses in cases involving discrimination, wrongful termination and breach of contract. He has been involved in managing a nationwide employment defense program for a national insurer, successfully defending employment actions filed with the EEOC and various state agencies throughout the country and achieving dismissal in numerous cases.
David is a frequent speaker on employment law matters, presenting on topics including discrimination, social media policies, wage and hour investigations and claims, along with other employment issues.
Product Liability and Toxic Tort
In the area of product liability, David has served as defense counsel for manufacturers in the United States, Japan, South Korea and Germany. He has extensive experience defending industrial products such as printing presses, milling machines, lathes, injection mold machines, forklifts and robotics. David also has defended motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, personal watercraft and other recreational vehicles. In addition, he has defended fire loss cases involving consumer products such as televisions, small and large appliances, furnaces and lighting systems.
In the toxic tort area, David has defended claims involving soil contamination, asbestos, and lead and carbon monoxide poisoning. He has been lead counsel in asbestos cases for manufacturers of automobiles, brakes and clutches, tractors, boilers and consumer appliances, including cases brought in Madison and Cook County, IL.
Throughout his career, David has successfully defended numerous professional liability cases. He has particular experience defending architects and engineers in a variety of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to construction defect. He has both successfully defended design professionals and represented insurers in claims involving design professionals, and is well-versed in the areas of construction law that apply to architects and engineers.
David has litigated many contractual disputes, including contracts ranging from equipment leases, construction contracts, sales contracts and distributor agreements to employment contracts, real estate contracts, commercial management contracts and more. He served for a period of time as outside counsel for a printing press manufacturer where he was involved in the negotiation of numerous contracts.
David has prosecuted and defended numerous coverage actions involving comprehensive liability policies. He has substantial experience with the insurance industry and is familiar with a wide range of general liability policies and the claims that arise from them. David also has spoken and written on insurance coverage issues involving general liability policies and the duty to defend that are unique to Illinois law.